A widely known use of geospatial information by a wide range of people is “Google Maps” and Wikimapia, both of which are classified as open information and are free to be accessed. A wider range of geospatial information, such as more detailed topographic maps or natural resource surveys, is available at a cost and is commonly classified as restricted information.
The accuracy of such freely available sources as Google Maps and Wikimapia is far from reliable, since it is often acquired from satellite imagery that does not contain geometric information and requires geo correction. Nonetheless, if a party were to rely on this type of geospatial information and incur damages, regardless of whether the information was acquired without cost, the provider would be criminally liable. Since it will take up to 2 years for the Law to be fully implemented, it is expected that during this time the Geospatial Information Agency will be established, and a number of implementing regulations will be issued to ensure the execution of the Law’s provisions.
Two concerns come to mind regarding geospatial information technology – people and data. Because technology is market driven, the products can be obtained by anyone willing to pay the price. Geospatial technology now allows for (relatively) easy dissemination of location information to regional levels, which may greatly impact emergency
Legislatures make every attempt to write laws that withstand the test of time and are not subject to frequent updates due to technology or methodology. However, that does not mean the laws never need to be changed, nor does it mean interpretations of the laws must remain fixed and rigid. The most important thing is whether the statute serves to ensure that the end users will get credible, accurate and accountable information, and that in the end, geospatial products actually serve for the betterment of society.
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